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J Invest Dermatol. 1990 Nov;95(5):2S-4S.

Psoriasis vulgaris: a genetic approach.

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Department of Dermatology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland 97201-3098.


Evidence for a genetic contribution in psoriasis comes from direct examination of a large segment of the population in an isolated island environment, epidemiologic and questionnaire studies presented to psoriatic patients, twin studies collected from the literature and from twin registries, and splitsibship analysis. The concordance of psoriasis in monozygotic twins was 65-72%, whereas psoriasis in dizygotic twins was 15-30%. Determination of concordance in older twin pairs from a national twin registry in Denmark revealed nearly 90-100% heritability. In order to link psoriasis with known markers within the human genome, serologic studies have been carried out with a variety of blood group and polymorphic protein antigens. A weak association with the MNS and Lewis Blood Groups Systems (relative risk, 3.5) has been identified. Stronger associations with class I B locus and class II D locus genes (relative risk, 8-12) have also been determined by studies of the human lymphocyte-antigen system. Finally, a strong association with HLA Cw6 has been determined; this marker is thought to be in linkage disequilibrium with B and D locus genes previously associated with psoriasis. The relative risk of developing psoriasis in HLA Cw6 positive individuals is about 24. A few large kindred have been reported in the dermatology literature. These support the hypothesis of autosomal dominant inheritance with penetrance of approximately 60%. In cooperation with The National Psoriasis Foundation, we have now identified over 90 families with psoriasis in three generations. We have begun the process of ascertainment, the construction of family trees, and the collection of leukocyte DNA for linkage analysis with established restriction fragment polymorphisms (RFLP). Our initial assessment is being directed to four RFLP that span approximately 30 centiMorgans of the short arm of human chromosome 6. Although karyotyping is uncommonly done in patients because of psoriasis, we now seek evidence of translocations of chromosome 6 in association with psoriasis.

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